When Nemanja Matic re-signed from Benfica for Chelsea in January 2014 for a reported £21 million fee, many heavily questioned the decision.
However, with the Serbian making an immediate impact in Chelsea's 2013/14 season people were quick to realise the perfect sense of the transaction and saw how he brings so much to the Chelsea side.
A season later and Matic has proved himself to rightly be a vital cog in Chelsea's success and has many a time proved himself to be one of the unsung heroes in the Blues' side.
With defensive solidity perhaps being put on the back burner, with all the attacking priority within the Chelsea game, people are quick to point to the likes of Gary Cahill, John Terry and most recently, the big Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois as being the men behind Chelsea's defensive capabilities.
Whilst the two English centre-backs have proved a phenomenal partnership, one must still point out the ease of their defending with Matic in front of them.
This season in particular, with new Chelsea superstar Cesc Fabregas being so attackingly adventurous the emphasis on Matic's game is acting as cover. The big 26-year-old has had plenty of defensive responsibility with fellow countryman Branislav Ivanovic being so rampant getting forward the defensive midfielder has had to fill the gaps.
At 6ft 4in, Matic provides the aerial stature to offer his side some presence, but what makes the difference between him and other Premier League defensive midfielders is undoubtedly his ability to both provide professional and composed cover, and also his ability to distribute the ball so well and offer his side a rapid turn of pace.
The difference between last season and this year is the difference in partnership.
Last season, for the majority of the time, Matic was paired with Ramires who has developed into a box-to-box midfielder. Whilst Ramires would occasionally get forward he would still be quick to get back and provide cover with Matic.
Shift in responsibility
Fabregas though, brilliantly, has spent a lot more time getting forward and adds an abundance of creativity with his stunning distributional and on the ball skills. This means then, that Matic has taken on a greater level of responsibility defensively and still his side has kept up the defensive standards that supporters have grown to expect in recent times.
With the blues only conceding seven goals in seven games so far (the second best defensive record in the Premier League so far) Matic's quietly brilliant role has definitely shown in Chelsea's results and recent success.
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